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June 2004
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August 2004

I Hope You Dance

In my last (and first) post on “Do You Think I’m Beautiful” by Angela Thomas, I didn’t share what is one of my favorite parts of the book. Now don’t laugh, but it’s the Contents page…notice I didn’t say Table of contents, because it’s far from a Table. Read along with me…

If there is a question attached to the soul of a woman, maybe it’s Do You Think I’m Beautiful? 1 When God answers from the depth of His great love, it makes some of us feel like The Wallflower Who Is Asked to Dance 21, but we can become distracted from His invitation because of The Other Lovers 43, Whispers of Unbelief 59, Noise and Clutter 77, and because we are Sometimes the Prodigal, Sometimes the Elder Brother 97.
To return to the music and strong embrace of God requires A Desperate and Pursuing Heart 119. When a woman chooses to remain in His arms of devotion, God gives The Only Hope We Have 139, His Perfect Love 157, and A Beautiful Crown 173.
God is enthralled by the beauty of a woman and calls her His beloved. He wildly pursues her heart with romance and intimacy to make her His Beautiful Bride 191.

WOW! Do you hear that? What an amazing way to invite us into the love of God!

At the beginning of the book, Angela describes her ‘homeliness’ as a young girl. Well, if we had a scanner – and thank God we don’t! – I’d scan in a picture of me as a young girl…talk about homely! Not ugly, just plain. So when Angela describes the ‘wallflower’, I can certainly identify. Angela talks about being asked to dance by the cutest guy in town…well, I have my own story about that…it’s not got the happy ending Angela’s does. I was in 6th grade, and like I said, about as homely as they come. But it was a small town and there was a party and the nice thing to do was invite everyone in the class, so I got invited. I hadn’t gotten asked to dance all night, although I knew I could if only given the chance, dance all night that is! The cutest boy in our class walks up to me (and by the way he became the quarterback of our state final bound football team when we were seniors) and my heart leapt for joy! David Thompson was going to ask me to dance?!? I couldn’t believe it…well, there was a reason I shouldn’t have believed it, because he was asking for Phillip Penzel, who was about as homely as me, only in a boy sort of way. My heart sank…I still danced with Phillip because that’s what nice girls from small towns do, but something inside me withered that night.

That was the beginning of the end for me…because what withered was the belief that I had anything to offer anyone. A few years later, I decided my body was mostly what I had to offer. That was one thing, I came to realize, that boys would respond to. They may pretend I don’t exist at school, but they’ll take me for ‘a ride’ in their car and I could briefly pretend that they liked and accepted me…only to have my heart broken the next day when they continued to ignore me at school. Those brief moments of acceptance were my drug back in those days. I kept returning to them, much like a dog returns to it’s own vomit, until ultimately I found myself in the midst of a horrible mess called an affair.

The good news…to quote Angela Thomas is “He (God) sees what can be and redeems what has been.” I have experienced much of His redemption in my life and in my story. And that redemption has come largely through learning to rest in His arms as He glides (like Fred Astaire) across the floor holding me tenderly in His arms.